Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Mono- and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG and DGDG) are the most abundant lipids of photosynthetic membranes (thylakoids). In Arabidopsis green tissues, MGD1 is the main enzyme synthesizing MGDG. This monotopic enzyme is embedded in the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts. DGDG synthesis occurs in the outer envelope membrane. Although the suborganellar localization of MGD1 has been determined, it is still not known how the lipid/glycolipid composition influences its binding to the membrane. The existence of a topological relationship between MGD1 and "embryonic" thylakoids is also unknown. To investigate MGD1 membrane binding, we used a Langmuir membrane model allowing the tuning of both lipid composition and packing. Surprisingly, MGD1 presents a high affinity to MGDG, its product, which maintains the enzyme bound to the membrane. This positive feedback is consistent with the low level of diacylglycerol, the substrate of MGD1, in chloroplast membranes. By contrast, MGD1 is excluded from membranes highly enriched in, or made of, pure DGDG. DGDG therefore exerts a retrocontrol, which is effective on the overall synthesis of galactolipids. Previously identified activators, phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylglycerol, also play a role on MGD1 membrane binding via electrostatic interactions, compensating the exclusion triggered by DGDG. The opposite effects of MGDG and DGDG suggest a role of these lipids on the localization of MGD1 in specific domains. Consistently, MGDG induces the self-organization of MGD1 into elongated and reticulated nanostructures scaffolding the chloroplast membrane.-Sarkis, J., Rocha, J., Maniti, O., Jouhet, J., Vié, V., Block, M. A., Breton, C., Maréchal, E., Girard-Egrot, A. The influence of lipids on MGD1 membrane binding highlights novel mechanisms for galactolipid biosynthesis regulation in chloroplasts.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2014; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol, the major lipid of plants and algal plastids, is synthesized by MGDG synthases (MGD). MGDs belong to the large glycosyltransferase family. They catalyze the transfer of a galactose residue from the donor UDP-Gal to an 1,2-sn-diacylglycerol acceptor. MGDs are monotopic proteins localized in the plastid envelope and, as such, they are difficult to purify. This study re-examined previous purification procedures and aimed to set up a standard protocol for expression and purification of recombinant MGD1, addressing problems frequently encountered with the purification of glycosyltransferases, particularly protein aggregation, and enabling crystallization for structural studies. Briefly, His-tagged versions of MGD1 were expressed in E. coli and purified by a two-step procedure, including immobilized metal affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. We demonstrated that E. coli is an appropriate host cell to produce a soluble and active form of MGD1. We also investigated the effects of various buffers and additives used during the purification and concentration steps on the biochemical behavior of the enzyme. The protocol we developed typically yields milligram quantities of pure and homogenous protein material and proved suitable for crystallization and biochemical studies. We also revisited the conditions for activity tests and effects of known positive effectors of MGD1 such as phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylglycerol.
    Biochimie 11/2012; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular glycome assembly requires the coordinated action of a large number of glycosyltransferases that catalyse the transfer of a sugar residue from a donor to specific acceptor molecules. This enzyme family is very ancient, encompassing all three domains of life. There has been considerable recent progress in structural glycobiology with the determination of crystal structures of several important glycosyltransferase members, showing novel folds and variations around a common α/β scaffold. Structural, kinetic and inhibitor data have led to the emergence of various scenarios with respect to their evolutionary history and reaction mechanisms thus highlighting the different solutions that nature has selected to catalyse glycosyl transfer.
    Current Opinion in Structural Biology 07/2012; 22(5):540-9. · 8.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lectin activity with specificity for mannose and glucose has been detected in the seed of Platypodium elegans, a legume plant from the Dalbergieae tribe. The gene of Platypodium elegans lectin A has been cloned, and the resulting 261-amino acid protein belongs to the legume lectin family with similarity with Pterocarpus angolensis agglutinin from the same tribe. The recombinant lectin has been expressed in Escherichia coli and refolded from inclusion bodies. Analysis of specificity by glycan array evidenced a very unusual preference for complex type N-glycans with asymmetrical branches. A short branch consisting of one mannose residue is preferred on the 6-arm of the N-glycan, whereas extensions by GlcNAc, Gal, and NeuAc are favorable on the 3-arm. Affinities have been obtained by microcalorimetry using symmetrical and asymmetrical Asn-linked heptasaccharides prepared by the semi-synthetic method. Strong affinity with K(d) of 4.5 μm was obtained for both ligands. Crystal structures of Platypodium elegans lectin A complexed with branched trimannose and symmetrical complex-type Asn-linked heptasaccharide have been solved at 2.1 and 1.65 Å resolution, respectively. The lectin adopts the canonical dimeric organization of legume lectins. The trimannose bridges the binding sites of two neighboring dimers, resulting in the formation of infinite chains in the crystal. The Asn-linked heptasaccharide binds with the 6-arm in the primary binding site with extensive additional contacts on both arms. The GlcNAc on the 6-arm is bound in a constrained conformation that may rationalize the higher affinity observed on the glycan array for N-glycans with only a mannose on the 6-arm.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2012; 287(31):26352-64. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant cells are characterized by the presence of chloroplasts, membrane lipids of which contain up to ∼80% mono- and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG and DGDG). The synthesis of MGDG in the chloroplast envelope is essential for the biogenesis and function of photosynthetic membranes, is coordinated with lipid metabolism in other cell compartments and is regulated in response to environmental factors. Phenotypic analyses of Arabidopsis using the recently developed specific inhibitor called galvestine-1 complete previous analyses performed using various approaches, from enzymology, cell biology to genetics. This review details how this probe could be beneficial to study the lipid homeostasis system at the whole cell level and highlights connections between MGDG synthesis and Arabidopsis flower development.
    Molecular BioSystems 05/2012; 8(8):2023-35, 2014. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) is a complex plant cell wall polysaccharide that is composed of an α(1,4)-linked homogalacturonan backbone substituted with four side chains. It exists in the cell wall in the form of a dimer that is cross-linked by a borate di-ester. Despite its highly complex structure, RG-II is evolutionarily conserved in the plant kingdom suggesting that this polymer has fundamental functions in the primary wall organisation. In this study, we have set up a bioinformatics strategy aimed at identifying putative glycosyltransferases (GTs) involved in RG-II biosynthesis. This strategy is based on the selection of candidate genes encoding type II membrane proteins that are tightly coexpressed in both rice and Arabidopsis with previously characterised genes encoding enzymes involved in the synthesis of RG-II and exhibiting an up-regulation upon isoxaben treatment. This study results in the final selection of 26 putative Arabidopsis GTs, including 10 sequences already classified in the CAZy database. Among these CAZy sequences, the screening protocol allowed the selection of α-galacturonosyltransferases involved in the synthesis of α4-GalA oligogalacturonides present in both homogalacturonans and RG-II, and two sialyltransferase-like sequences previously proposed to be involved in the transfer of Kdo and/or Dha on the pectic backbone of RG-II. In addition, 16 non-CAZy GT sequences were retrieved in the present study. Four of them exhibited a GT-A fold. The remaining sequences harbored a GT-B like fold and a fucosyltransferase signature. Based on homologies with glycosyltransferases of known functions, putative roles in the RG-II biosynthesis are proposed for some GT candidates.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e51129. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we present a comparative structure-function study of a nematode and a plant core α1,3-fucosyltransferase based on deletion and point mutations of the coding regions of Caenorhabditis elegans FUT-1 and Arabidopsis thaliana FucTA (FUT11). In particular, our results reveal a novel "first cluster motif" shared by both core and Lewis-type α1,3-fucosyltransferases of the GT10 family. To evaluate the role of the conserved serine within this motif, this residue was replaced with alanine in FucTA (S218) and FUT-1 (S243). The S218A replacement completely abolished the enzyme activity of FucTA, while the S243A mutant of FUT-1 retained 20% of the "wild-type" activity. Based on the results of homology modeling of FucTA, other residues potentially involved in the donor substrate binding were examined, and mutations of N219 and R226 dramatically affected enzymatic activity. Finally, as both FucTA and FUT-1 were shown to be N-glycosylated, we examined the putative N-glycosylation sites. While alanine replacements at single potential N-glycosylation sites of FucTA resulted in a loss of up to 80% of the activity, a triple glycosylation site mutant still retained 5%, as compared to the control. In summary, our data indicate similar trends in structure-function relationships of distantly related enzymes which perform similar biochemical reactions and form the basis for future work aimed at understanding the structure of α1,3-fucosyltransferases in general.
    Glycobiology 04/2011; 21(11):1401-15. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sialyltransferases (STs) represent an important group of enzymes that transfer N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) from cytidine monophosphate-Neu5Ac to various acceptor substrates. In higher animals, sialylated oligosaccharide structures play crucial roles in many biological processes but also in diseases, notably in microbial infection and cancer. Cell surface sialic acids have also been found in a few microorganisms, mainly pathogenic bacteria, and their presence is often associated with virulence. STs are distributed into five different families in the CAZy database (http://www.cazy.org/). On the basis of crystallographic data available for three ST families and fold recognition analysis for the two other families, STs can be grouped into two structural superfamilies that represent variations of the canonical glycosyltransferase (GT-A and GT-B) folds. These two superfamilies differ in the nature of their active site residues, notably the catalytic base (a histidine or an aspartate residue). The observed structural and functional differences strongly suggest that these two structural superfamilies have evolved independently.
    Glycobiology 11/2010; 21(6):716-26. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosyltransferases are one of the largest and most diverse enzyme groups in Nature. They catalyse the synthesis of glycosidic linkages by the transfer of a sugar residue from a donor to an acceptor substrate. These enzymes have been classified into families on the basis of amino acid sequence similarity that are kept updated in the Carbohydrate Active enZyme database (CAZy, ). The repertoire of glycosyltransferases in genomes is believed to determine the diversity of cellular glycan structures, and current estimates suggest that for most genomes about 1% of the coding regions are glycosyltransferases. However, plants tend to have far more glycosyltransferase genes than any other organism sequenced to date, and this can be explained by the highly complex polysaccharide network that form the cell wall and also by the numerous glycosylated secondary metabolites. In recent years, various bioinformatics strategies have been used to search bacterial and plant genomes for new glycosyltransferase genes. These are based on the use of remote homology detection methods that act at the 1D, 2D, and 3D level. The combined use of methods such as profile Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and fold recognition appears to be appropriate for this class of enzyme. Chemometric tools are also particularly well suited for obtaining an overview of multivariate data and revealing hidden latent information when dealing with large and highly complex datasets.
    Molecular BioSystems 10/2010; 6(10):1773-81. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the major characteristics of chloroplast membranes is their enrichment in galactoglycerolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), whereas phospholipids are poorly represented, mainly as phosphatidylglycerol (PG). All these lipids are synthesized in the chloroplast envelope, but galactolipid synthesis is also partially dependent on phospholipid synthesis localized in non-plastidial membranes. MGDG synthesis was previously shown essential for chloroplast development. In this report, we analyze the regulation of MGDG synthesis by phosphatidic acid (PA), which is a general precursor in the synthesis of all glycerolipids and is also a signaling molecule in plants. We demonstrate that under physiological conditions, MGDG synthesis is not active when the MGDG synthase enzyme is supplied with its substrates only, i.e. diacylglycerol and UDP-gal. In contrast, PA activates the enzyme when supplied. This is shown in leaf homogenates, in the chloroplast envelope, as well as on the recombinant MGDG synthase, MGD1. PG can also activate the enzyme, but comparison of PA and PG effects on MGD1 activity indicates that PA and PG proceed through different mechanisms, which are further differentiated by enzymatic analysis of point-mutated recombinant MGD1s. Activation of MGD1 by PA and PG is proposed as an important mechanism coupling phospholipid and galactolipid syntheses in plants.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2010; 285(9):6003-6011. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Mol. Biosyst. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: One of the major characteristics of chloroplast membranes is their enrichment in galactoglycerolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), whereas phospholipids are poorly represented, mainly as phosphatidylglycerol (PG). All these lipids are synthesized in the chloroplast envelope, but galactolipid synthesis is also partially dependent on phospholipid synthesis localized in non-plastidial membranes. MGDG synthesis was previously shown essential for chloroplast development. In this report, we analyze the regulation of MGDG synthesis by phosphatidic acid (PA), which is a general precursor in the synthesis of all glycerolipids and is also a signaling molecule in plants. We demonstrate that under physiological conditions, MGDG synthesis is not active when the MGDG synthase enzyme is supplied with its substrates only, i.e. diacylglycerol and UDP-gal. In contrast, PA activates the enzyme when supplied. This is shown in leaf homogenates, in the chloroplast envelope, as well as on the recombinant MGDG synthase, MGD1. PG can also activate the enzyme, but comparison of PA and PG effects on MGD1 activity indicates that PA and PG proceed through different mechanisms, which are further differentiated by enzymatic analysis of point-mutated recombinant MGD1s. Activation of MGD1 by PA and PG is proposed as an important mechanism coupling phospholipid and galactolipid syntheses in plants.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2009; 285(9):6003-11. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 450 glycosyltransferase (GT) sequences have been already identified in the Arabidopsis genome that organize into 40 sequence-based families, but a vast majority of these gene products remain biochemically uncharacterized open reading frames. Given the complexity of the cell wall carbohydrate network, it can be inferred that some of the biosynthetic genes have not yet been identified by classical bioinformatics approaches. With the objective to identify new plant GT genes, we designed a bioinformatic strategy that is based on the use of several remote homology detection methods that act at the 1D, 2D, and 3D level. Together, these methods led to the identification of more than 150 candidate protein sequences. Among them, 20 are considered as putative glycosyltransferases that should further be investigated since known GT signatures were clearly identified.
    Journal of Proteome Research 01/2009; 8(2):743-53. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosyltransferases, the enzymes that build oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, have received much interest in recent years owing to their biological functions and their potential uses in biotechnology. The analysis of the wealth of sequences that are now available in databases allowed the classification in different families characterized by conserved peptide motifs. Nevertheless, only a limited number of crystal structures is available and molecular modeling appears to be an inescapable tool for rationalization of binding data, engineering of enzyme properties, and design of inhibitors that would be of interest as therapeutic compounds. Because of sequence diversity and limited experimental data, molecular modeling of these enzymes is not straight-forward and utilizes the most recent tools, such as fold recognition programs.
    02/2008: pages 145-156;
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    ABSTRACT: The oligo- and polysaccharide structures observed in samples of biological origin represent the products of a large number of enzymes: the workhorses of the biosynthetic pathways involved are the glycosyltransferases, although some steps necessary for the final glycoconjugate structures result from glycosidase or transglycosylase activities. Glycosyltransferases are, as the name suggests, enzymes which transfer sugars from an activated donor (normally a nucleotide sugar or lipid-linked phosphosugar) to an acceptor, which can be a polypeptide, a lipid or another saccharide. These enzymes have been studied by a wide variety of approaches—biochemical, genetic, chemical, crystallographic—in order to determine their occurrence, substrate specificity, biological function, mechanism and three-dimensional structure.
    Glycoscience, ISBN 978-3-540-36154-1. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2008, p. 2265. 01/2008; -1:2265.
  • 01/2008: pages 25-44;
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    ABSTRACT: Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) is a lectin that has been used extensively in histopathology, since its binding to tissue sections from breast and colon cancers is correlated with the worst prognosis for the patients. The lectin recognizes alpha-d-N-acetylgalactosamine (alphaGalNAc) containing epitopes which are only present in cancer cell lines having a high likelihood to undergo metastasis, such as the HT29 cancer colon cell line. Several breast cancer cell lines have also been shown to be labeled, although IGROV1, an ovarian cancer cell line, is not. Inhibition studies, using GalNAc monosaccharides, are reported here, showing that the labeling is dependent upon the presence of carbohydrate epitopes. The crystal structures of the lectin complexed with two GalNAc containing epitopes associated with cancer, the Tn (alphaGalNAc-Ser) and Forssman (alphaGalNAc1-3GalNAc) antigens, show the lectin's specificity for GalNAc is due to a particular network of hydrogen bonds. A histidine residue makes hydrophobic contact with the aglycon, rationalizing the preference for GalNAc bearing an additional sugar or amino acid in the alpha position. These structures provide the molecular basis for the use of HPA in metastasis research.
    Glycobiology 11/2007; 17(10):1077-83. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously described a bacterial system for the conversion of globotriaose (Gb3) into globotetraose (Gb4) by a metabolically engineered Escherichia coli strain expressing the Haemophilus influenzae lgtD gene encoding beta1,3-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase [Antoine, T., Bosso, C., Heyraud, A. Samain, E. (2005) Large scale in vivo synthesis of globotriose and globotetraose by high cell density culture of metabolically engineered Escherichia coli. Biochimie 87, 197-203]. Here, we found that LgtD has an additional beta1,3-galactosyltransferase activity which allows our bacterial system to be extended to the synthesis of the carbohydrate portion of globopentaosylceramide (Galbeta-3GalNAcbeta-3Galalpha-4Galbeta-4Glc) which reacts with the monoclonal antibody defining the stage-specific embryonic antigen-3. In vitro assays confirmed that LgtD had both beta1,3-GalT and beta1,3-GalNAcT activities and showed that differences in the affinity for Gb3 and Gb4 explain the specific and exclusive formation of globopentaose.
    FEBS Letters 07/2007; 581(14):2652-6. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • C. BRETON, L. PHAN THANH, A. PARAF
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACTA method to identify and quantify additives in canned food was developed. Ninety to ninety five percent of proteins from canned mushrooms were solubilized by treatment with 0.1N NaOH for 3 days. The extracted, solubilized proteins were then detected by direct ELISA test. An ELISA test which allowed quantification of ovalbumin in canned mushrooms was developed. Immunoblotting also showed the same sensitivity and accuracy with ELISA.
    Journal of Food Science 08/2006; 53(1):226 - 230. · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • C. BRETON, L. PHAN THANH, A. PARAF
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    ABSTRACT: Affinity antibodies purified against native ovalbumin were found more reactive (higher avidity) against heat-denatured ovalbumin than against the native molecule by three different immunochemical methods. Quantitative immunoprecipitation in soluble phase revealed that more antigen-antibody complexes were insoluble with native ovalbumin than with heat-denatured ovalbumin; 25% of antibodies were still present in supernatant at equivalence as measured by ELISA. At the same conditions with heat-denatured ovalbumin, very small amounts of antibodies were precipitated while almost no activity was found in the supernatant. Classical ELISA or competitive ELISA test allowed detection down to 100 ng/mL of native ovalbumin and 10 ng/mL of denatured ovalbumin.
    Journal of Food Science 08/2006; 53(1):222 - 225. · 1.78 Impact Factor

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